Any pain signals that something is wrong with the body. The main thing in this situation is to be able to detect the source of the signal. Neck pain can be either the result of banal fatigue or a symptom of a serious illness.
Neck pain is an unpleasant problem that can ruin both mood and quality of life. The symptom occurs in 30-40% of the population, can lead to loss of movement and disability.
Throughout life, almost every person faces such a problem as neck pain. Both women and men at any age suffer from it equally often.
Why does the neck hurt? There are many reasons for pain in this area. There are a number of diseases that are manifested by pain in the neck. It is very important to determine the possible cause and start treatment in a timely manner. To do this, you need to seek the advice of a doctor, and it is advisable to undergo a comprehensive examination.
Based on the causes, the methods of treatment also differ. Early diagnosis and quality treatment, started after the discovery of the problem, will help to forget about this unpleasant symptom.
How to treat neck pain depends on the specific situation and the mechanisms of the development of the disease. Also, the choice of method is influenced by the stage of the process, its nature. The attending physician can determine the tactics after a full examination and additional diagnostic methods.
Causes of muscle pain in the neck
The main sources of pain in the muscles of the neck include:
- Diseases of the spine;
- Pathologies of the internal organs that are in the neck;
- Inflammatory muscle diseases;
- Violation of the blood supply to the muscles of the neck;
- Hereditary pathologies of the muscular apparatus.
Among diseases of the spine, the first and most common reason why neck muscles hurt is osteochondrosis. It should be distinguished from diseases such as herniated discs, syringomyelia, tuberculosis, and spinal tumors.
With the help of modern research methods, it is possible to determine in which structures and at what level the pathological process is taking place. However, the final diagnosis is made by a neurologist.
Diseases of the spine, one way or another, lead to inflammation of the nerve roots that come out of the spinal cord. Therefore, in order to get rid of neck pain, it is necessary to block the inflammatory process in the intervertebral discs and eliminate the compression of the spinal roots.
Sometimes, in order to understand why the muscles of the neck hurt, especially after a viral illness or hypothermia, one should carry out such a check: first, press on the muscles themselves, and then on the points near the spine. If, under pressure, a slight aching pain is felt only in the muscle fibers, and they themselves are flabby, one can assume myositis - inflammation of the muscles.
Diseases of the thyroid gland, trachea and esophagus are possible reasons why the neck hurts in front, since quite often the inflammatory process in one organ leads to the fact that the pain spreads to nearby places. If general weakness, excessive sweating and palpitations join the pain, this indicates problems with the thyroid gland. Diseases of the esophagus are indicated by pain during belching and eating. Cough, wheezing in the lungs and pain when inhaling cold air indicate the pathology of the bronchi and trachea.
With atherosclerosis of the vessels, varicose veins of the neck and esophagus, pain in the muscles on the side may appear. Why does the neck hurt in this case? This is due to a violation of the blood supply, which leads to the accumulation of toxic substances in the muscle fibers and the lack of their nutrition, which together causes discomfort. Pain of this nature occurs, as a rule, in the evening, or after physical exertion. Ultrasound of the vessels of the neck helps to confirm this pathology, but to make a decision on conservative therapy or surgical treatment, a consultation with an angiosurgeon is required.
Hereditary muscle diseases are a fairly rare phenomenon that manifests itself already in infancy. The defining feature of this pathology is a clear increase in muscle volume with their simultaneously continuing weakness.
Why does my neck hurt after sleeping
Neck pain can also be associated with prolonged muscle tension or being in one position with little or no movement for 7-8 hours, for example, during sleep. All this time, especially if a person sleeps in an uncomfortable position, the muscles are in a tense state. This just explains the fact why the neck hurts after sleeping or working at the computer for a long time.
The mechanism of development of pain in this case is as follows:
- Tense muscles squeeze the cervical vertebrae;
- Intervertebral discs pinch the roots of the spinal nerves;
- The compressed nerve endings become inflamed and begin to send signals to the spinal cord;
- There is a response, as a result of which the neck muscles tense up to protect the injured area.
There is a kind of vicious circle, which leads to an inflammatory process. In addition to the vertebrae, tense muscles compress the blood vessels of the neck, disrupting blood circulation, which leads to swelling. Pinched nerves cannot transmit a command to relax muscles and organs.
Diseases of the spine (hernia, osteochondrosis) and injuries of the cervical region can aggravate the development of muscle tension and become another reason why the neck hurts after sleep. Sometimes it happens the other way around: an uncomfortable posture while resting at night contributes to the development of osteochondrosis.
Why do the lymph nodes in the neck hurt?
Often pain in the neck is associated with inflammation of the lymph nodes, which is called lymphadenitis. The main function of these formations is to protect nearby organs from tumors and infections. Painful inflammation of the lymph nodes in most cases occurs under the influence of any infectious agent, less often due to a tumor-like lesion.
You can understand why the lymph nodes in the neck hurt, and what is the cause of the inflammatory process, by finding the source of infection, which, as a rule, is located near the place of their localization. It can be an acute respiratory illness, ear or throat disease. Accompanying symptoms of lymphadenitis are headache, fever and general malaise.
According to the nature of the discomfort, all inflammations of the cervical lymph nodes can be divided into three types:
- Weak intensity. The pain is practically not felt and manifests itself only on palpation;
- Medium intensity. An enlarged lymph node is visible to the naked eye, pain is felt even in the normal state;
- Strong intensity. Inflammation of the lymph node develops into a purulent form and you can immediately understand why the neck hurts. Chills, fever, and redness around the lymph node only confirm the diagnosis.
A visit to the doctor is a mandatory measure, since it is impossible to cure lymphadenitis on your own, especially in the acute stage, or in a neglected form.
It does not matter in which area of the neck - in front, behind or on the side there is pain, since any discomfort indicates a pathology. A competent specialist will always determine why the neck hurts and prescribe the right treatment. It should be remembered that it is always easier to eliminate the cause than to deal with the consequences.